Looks like we made it: Surviving Reception year


Ten months ago, forty five long weeks ago, when I prised your little hand from mine and left you there on your first day at school, I had no idea what this coming year had in store. When you cried that first morning, I told myself it was to be expected, that it was such an over whelming change, that it would be crazy to assume you would settle instantly, that it would, of course, take time.

As days turned to weeks and the other children no longer clung to their parents each morning in the same way that you did, I told myself that some children simply take longer than others to settle, that this too would pass. When you sobbed each night and begged me not to send you to school the next day, I assumed that you were over-tired, over dramatic, that you were simply adjusting to the long days in school.

As the months crept by, with the changing of the seasons, the changes in you soon became apparent. You no longer had a skip in your step or a twinkle in your eye, I couldn’t remember the last time I heard you laugh, really laugh, or be silly with your siblings. All of a sudden you followed me from room to room, standing at the door whilst I used the toilet, begging to come with me when I nipped to Tesco, waking in the night and calling my name. When I caught you unawares, your sad little face cupped in your hands, sucking on your fingers in a way you hadn’t done for years, my heart broke for the little girl I felt I was losing

As Christmas came around I had so looked forward to watching your first nativity, to see you up there on the stage, my beautiful little angel, singing along amongst your friends. As the day approached you pleaded with me not to make you do it, to let you stay at home, told me that you felt too poorly, too sad, too scared. And I had told you that you must go, reassured you that it would be fine, that it would be fun, that you’d enjoy it. And sitting there in the audience,  I can’t tell you how genuinely sorry I was to see you up there, your little face frozen with fear, your bottom lip quivering and your eyes brimming with tears, looking at me with a face that quite clearly said, “You lied.”

When I tucked you into bed that night and felt my neck damp beneath your tears, I questioned why we were putting you through this, why we were putting us through this. For although your teachers told me that you were fine once you had settled, that you were just a very shy little girl struggling to settle in, that wasn’t you at all. They had never seen you dancing and singing and acting out your wild imagination. They had never seen you bounce around like a little ball of energy, being silly and giggly and a little bit cheeky. They had never seen you before to know that the sad little girl who came to school each day wasn’t my daughter at all.

And there was nothing that we didn’t try. We exhausted reward charts, special treats, the promise of days out, new toys and outright bribery. We quizzed you every single day, why don’t you like it baby? What is it that makes you so sad? And yet you would sit there, your big blue eyes searching mine, your little mouth down turned, silently pleading with me to just understand that this was so hard for you, that you couldn’t put it into words, that you were still just a baby after all.

There were times when little chinks of the old you crept in, during half term or on a weekend, when you would surprise me by leaving go of my hand as you ran ahead, looking back at me with that cheeky little smile that we hadn’t seen in such a long while. On Christmas morning when you jumped for joy at finally getting your Hatchimal, on your birthday when we surprised you with your very own iPad, at your party when you blew out your candles and the tiniest of smiles crept across your face. And those moments kept me going, reminded me that this wouldn’t last forever, that you were still in there, we just needed to find a way to help you regain your confidence.

In the spring when you announced that it was your class assembly, you were so excited for me to come and watch. You sang the songs to me at home on repeat, recited the play word for word, told me the story of the billy goats gruff and the big bad troll. And as each child stood up to say a line, some in a shy little whisper, some at the tops of their voices, I felt a lump brewing in my throat. I remember how the Mum sat beside me had nudged me with her elbow, knowing just how much this would mean to me, my camera at the ready to capture the moment. And yet when it came to your turn you remained seated, your little face rigid with fear, silently waiting as the child beside you stood up and said his line, skipping right past you, and that moment just broke me.

And so rightly or wrongly, I simply accepted that this was our life now, the tears becoming part of our daily routine, the tantrums and outbursts, the crying at bedtime, the refusal to join in or take part in all of the firsts that I had been so sure you would love. Each day the same, “Did you enjoy school today?”, I would ask you, silently hoping for a miracle. “No I hated it.” you would say, no discussion, no offerings of the things you had done, the friends you had played with, the food you had eaten or books you had read. And it was so hard for you, but it was hard for me too.

There were times when I dealt with it all wrong,  days I pandered to your tears, when I lingered in the playground for a little too long, waiting at the gate until you disappeared from view; the times when I lost my patience, when I snapped at you in sheer frustration, when I told you that it was tough, you had to go to school, that it was time you stopped acting like a baby. It was such a learning curve for all of us, but it was me who carried that burden, me who felt that guilt, me whose little hand you clung to each and every morning.

And yet out of nowhere, over the last few weeks, I’ve seen a spring in your step on the way to school some mornings, the sound of your laughter as you join your friends in the playground; I’ve found you letting go of my hand a little bit easier, swallowing your tears a little faster, taking in a toy for Show and Tell. I’ve noticed you telling me a little more about your day, the cookie you had with lunch, the book you read with your teacher, sharing a joke that one of the boys had told you, telling me about the games you played, the reason for the sticker you wear so proudly on your chest.

And so yesterday, on your very first sports day, I had silently hoped that this would be the turning point, the moment  that you would finally join in. Seeing you sat there in your blue t-shirt and pigtails, chatting away to your friend beside you, I couldn’t help but notice just how much you had grown, how much older you seemed, how breathtakingly beautiful you had become. And yet as your class stood up to race and I saw you remain seated, I felt my shoulders drop, a huge sigh of disappointment, tears pricking at my eyes.

And yet all of a sudden there you were, getting to your feet, edging towards the start line, lost in a sea of blue. And as you ran towards me, that determined little look on your face, your pigtails flying in the wind, I have never been more proud of you than I was in that moment.

Because regardless of how long it has taken you to reach this point, regardless of how big or small this achievement may seem to others, you, my darling girl, are amazing, in a million different ways, for a million different reasons. And yesterday you proved that you can do this.

So regardless of what happens in September, whether Year One brings new hurdles, new tears, new fears; whether no two days are ever the same, whether we start right back at the very beginning, one thing this year has taught me is that together, we can do this. 

Looks like we made it, look how far we’ve come my baby……

I am so very proud of you.

Love always,



ethannevelyn.comDIY Daddy Blog
Pink Pear BearMummy Times Two


  1. Laura
    July 13, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    Oh my gosh!! You broke me!! Tears are rolling!! So pleased that she joined in and seems happier.

    • Laura Dove
      July 13, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Ahh I’m sorry! I cried myself stupid writing this, what a rollercoaster it has been! xx

  2. Allie
    July 13, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    When you said she remained seated at first I was willing her to get up with all my heart and when I read that she did i cried. ❤

    • Laura Dove
      July 13, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Ahh Allie that’s exactly how I felt too, it was such a huge moment. xxx

  3. July 13, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    Oh my gosh Laura!!! I was the same as Allie! I was willing Eva to run. Bless her. I hope year one brings lots more smiles & more & more confidence. Lots of love x

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:19 pm

      I couldn’t believe it when she did it!! Proudest Mummy ever! xx

  4. July 13, 2017 / 11:17 pm

    Oh my God! this article made me cry. Yes together you can do it! I salute your courage!

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:17 pm

      Ahh thank you so much. xx

  5. July 13, 2017 / 11:25 pm

    So glad there seems to have been a turning point in sports day. Long may it continue. I can think what it must have been like sending her all year with her not seeming happy or her normal self. Fingers crossed year q will be better. She’s going to have her sister there too in reception!

    She looks so much older since the start of the year too. Big change.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:17 pm

      Thank you Emma, I completely agree, she looks to have aged so fast from day one to now! I’m sure having Megs there will really make a big difference, here’s hoping! xx

  6. July 14, 2017 / 2:37 am

    Oh goodness what a terribly hard year for all of you! Such a brave little girl, but also such a brave mum to see her through it. Well done to both of you!! And what gorgeous photos! I particularly love the black and white – stunning! Visiting from #thatfridaylinky

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:16 pm

      Thank you Jen, that’s one of my favourite photos of Eva. xx

  7. July 14, 2017 / 5:16 am

    I remember the first day our girls started nursery, it was very overwhelming for them, and us, as parents. Like Eva, there were tears and it took a good while for them to settle in. It was the same when they started reception. The long days were too much to start with, but they’ve come so far now and I quite believe that by the end of the year, they’ll be in year one! Ahh beautifully written post. Thanks for linking up with #ThatFridayLinky

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:15 pm

      I think that’s part of it, it’s such a huge change for them and that combined with the exhaustion can leave them feeling super emotional – and us too! Thank you for hosting. xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:14 pm

      That’s the main thing isn’t it? xx

  8. July 14, 2017 / 6:29 am

    This is beautiful Laura, the girls were hard work going into school last September lots of tears, but thankfully they settled by Xmas now I’m not sure they even noticed us, this brought a tear to eye reading this because it’s tough on one so young. Fabtastic post as always. Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:14 pm

      Thank you Nige, it’s been such a tough ten months but WE MADE IT!!! I have to do it all again in September with Megs so I’m really hoping that things are easier this time round! xx

  9. July 14, 2017 / 8:09 am

    Oh my word! This is so utterly touching! I too had a tear with you, these words speak millions and I am sure many, many parents feel the same way you are right now. I can assure you though that you have done nothing wrong. We all want the best for our little ones and sometimes our patience is tested but you mum are amazing and so is your prescious ray of sunshine!

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:12 pm

      Thank you so much. You do start to question yourself when the children struggle, wondering how I could have done things differently, how I could have made it easier for her. She has done amazingly well, I am such a proud Mummy. xx

  10. July 14, 2017 / 8:12 am

    Oh how cute! I’m yet to experience this haha! x

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:11 pm

      Ahh I hope if and when you do, it’s an easier experience! xx

  11. July 14, 2017 / 8:52 am

    Oh bless her, it is so hard letting go and coping with all the emotions of growing up. I am so glad she has turned a corner xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:10 pm

      Thank you Cathy, here’s hoping things continue to improve. xx

  12. July 14, 2017 / 8:53 am

    What a beautiful and heart felt post. Well done to you both getting through the term .xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:10 pm

      Thank you so much. xx

  13. July 14, 2017 / 9:15 am

    Reading this put a lump in my throat. Reception is a big step. I hope she adjusts to year one well and enjoys being with her friends and having fun.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:09 pm

      Thank you Lynsey. I really do hope so too. xx

  14. July 14, 2017 / 9:37 am

    Ahhh what a lovely post you must be so proud we are about to enter this year I have no idea what will happen will have to check in with you at the end of our reception year xoxo

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:09 pm

      Ahh good luck Talya. I’m sure that you will be fine, and if not then at least you know there is hope of things getting easier! xx

  15. July 14, 2017 / 9:41 am

    Oh my goodness I’m sitting here covered in goosebumps! I felt so bad for her and you reading this, and so happy when she finally did it! Simply gorgeous post. (And you’ve done better than me – my daughter was one of those never look back kind of kids, but my son was reluctant to throw himself into school life. He did in the end, but he cried every sports day until year 3. So well done you!) 😀

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:09 pm

      Ahh thank you Helen. My eldest never looked back either so this was a huge shock! I’m hoping September is easier, either way at least I’m a little more prepared! xx

  16. July 14, 2017 / 10:08 am

    I’m sorry this has been such a difficult year. I’m so glad things have improved. I can imagine how relieved and proud you would have been at sports day. My eldest starts school in September and she is a timid child so I do worry this is how she will react.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:06 pm

      Thank you. I think sometimes the ones you expect to struggle, don’t! Eva was VERY excited for school so this came as a huge shock! xx

  17. July 14, 2017 / 10:13 am

    This post made my weep. My little girl is leaving Primary school forever next week. They grow so quickly, watch every moment ❤

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:05 pm

      Ahh emotional times. My second son would have been leaving this week too, very bittersweet times. xx

  18. July 14, 2017 / 10:25 am

    Beautifully written Laura! It’s heart-wrenching seeing our babies upset isn’t it?
    So glad to hear that Eva has settled in now 🙂 xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:05 pm

      Thank you Jayne, absolutely heartbreaking! xx

  19. July 14, 2017 / 10:35 am

    It suddenly dawned on me reading this that next year my little daisy does to nursery! How is that possible 😢😢😢

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:05 pm

      Ahhh it’s so scary how fast the time goes!

  20. Kayleigh Watkins
    July 14, 2017 / 11:36 am

    She is absolutely beautiful, my Megan is in reception, she is anxious about going into year 2 in September with a new teacher, she has really settled this year, I’m dreading her 1st day in September, but she is going to see her new class and teacher today so hopefully it will ease her worries xxx

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:03 pm

      Ahh thank you. It’s always a worry starting school or starting a new class, I really hope that Eva, and your Megan, adapt well in September. xx

  21. July 14, 2017 / 11:38 am

    Go Eva! It’s so lovely to read that Eva has settled into school now and taken part in sports day – you must be one proud mama 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Ahh thank you Helen! Super proud Mama!! xx

  22. July 14, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    She is so beautiful! And very lucky to have a Mum so dedicated to her feelings, you’re doing a fantastic job. Hope she has a wonderful summer and is all ready to go back in September x x #ThatFridayLinky

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Ahh thank you Hayley. It’s been a rough ride for her adjusting to school but her sister will join her in September which I do think will help! xx

  23. July 14, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    Eva is so so beautiful! Such a gorgeous little girl. I had moments of shy-ness when I was younger, but I gradually grew out of it. The real change came when my mum enlisted me in dance classes around seven!

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:58 pm

      Ahh thank you so much, she really is so beautiful inside and out. I was the same, I had no confidence as a child either, I think we all find it eventually…some just take their time! xx

  24. July 14, 2017 / 1:08 pm

    Oh my gosh what a year, I really hope year 1 carries on bringing easier times with school. its heartbreaking when they cry and get upset. We were lucky and never had any tears BUT i can understand how hard it is for some children its a massive step in their life.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:58 pm

      Thank you Rachel. My son was the same, never looked back and loved school the whole way through. Eva is very much a Mummys girl so I guess she just wanted to be with me more than she wanted to be at school some days. xx

  25. jodie filogomo
    July 14, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    What a uplifting post, Laura!! I hurt along with you and cheered at the end!!

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:57 pm

      Ahh thank you Jodie. You can imagine just how lovely it was to see her run at sports day, I have never been prouder. xx

  26. July 14, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    It’s never nice to see your children unhappy but glad it all worked out in the end.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:57 pm

      Thank you Jenny, it’s been very hard at times. xx

  27. July 14, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    Your struggle almost broke my heart.. I think all parents can relate with what you have been through

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      Ahh thank you Dinesh, it was a tough journey but we made it, that’s the main thing right? xx

  28. Chel C
    July 14, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    Aw you must be so proud! I love this time of year when all the children are getting ready to break up for the summer holidays and prepare themselves for entering the “big class”

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      I’m very proud. My youngest daughter starts in September too so we have all of this to come again! xx

  29. Ti
    July 14, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    Just beautiful. Well done Eva and well done, Laura. It”s so hard to see our little ones struggle especially when we know we can’t fix it but your love and support helped Eva more than you can know. In her own time and her own way, and with the unstinting love of her amazing mum, she did it. 💕

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:55 pm

      Thank you so much, I am so proud of us both for getting through it! Sports day was amazing, seeing her join in after all of these months watching from the sidelines, my proudest moment yet. xxx

  30. July 14, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    Will be here a year in September. not looking forward to it! #thatfridaylinky

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:54 pm

      Ahh I really hope that things go a little easier for you! xx

  31. Nelu Mbingu
    July 14, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    You have a very beautiful child and good on you for savoring every moment of your children’s life. Soon they will be all grown up, and these will be the memories you look back at with fondness.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:54 pm

      Thank you, she is very precious that’s for sure. xx

  32. July 14, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    Oh dear! School is such an upheaval and compulsory! 🙁 my kids have had no similar issues and Anya can’t wait to start year R in September. Matthew is more nervous about going to juniors as he won’t be with all of his friends

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:53 pm

      Yes it can be really hard, especially for children who lack confidence. Eva couldn’t wait to go so it was a huge shock when she struggled! xx

  33. July 14, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    What a lovely letter. 😉 I think this is great and what a great first year! 🙂 I loved reading about sports day! They make proud moments.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:53 pm

      Thank you, sports day was the proudest moment! xx

  34. Sierra
    July 14, 2017 / 8:35 pm

    Aww this story made so sad but I’m glad it finished with a happy and inspiring ending. All of the pictures of your daughter are precious. Thank you for sharing your story as I am sure there are many out there who can relate.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:52 pm

      Ahh thank you Sierra, I think a lot of children struggle with starting school, it was lovely to be able to share a happy outcome. xx

  35. July 14, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    Oh this made me cry! I often think of Eva when I see your pics on Instagram and wonder how she’s getting on. It sounds so, so tough on all of you, but you shouldn’t beat yourself up. You’ll get there. All of you. Well done Eva, I hope next year is a little easier, a little better xxx

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:50 pm

      Ahh sorry lovely, I cried a lot writing it. It has been tough to say the least but she is thriving in her school work and her confidence is coming on leaps and bounds. Sometimes it just takes some children a little longer. xx

  36. July 14, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    My heart has gone out to you so many times over this last year and there really has been nothing that has worked for Eva, except for time. She clearly just needed time to accept this new life at school. I really hope that it continues in September. But for now enjoy your holiday and summer with your children at home x

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:49 pm

      Thank you Laura. I still can’t believe that the end is in sight, it’s been a lonnnnnng year in some ways!! Never have I needed a holiday more! xx

  37. July 14, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    Oh darling what a beautiful post!

    I struggled a lot in reception, this has given me some hope for when B starts nursery.
    So glad little one is now more herself, I just want to give her a huge cuddle!

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      Ahh thank you so much. I don’t really remember reception year but I was quite a shy child and lacked in confidence. I’m hoping September will continue to see an improvement in her confidence too, fingers crossed. xx

  38. July 14, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    Awww Laura! This was so lovely. I am so glad it looks like the struggle is getting less, and hope that you can both enjoy the holidays and that September brings more school enjoyment!

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:47 pm

      Thank you Lauren. It’s been a tough year but we are ending it in a way better situation than we started! xx

  39. July 14, 2017 / 11:20 pm

    This gave me chills and put a big smile on my face. I can so relate. Just seeing your child grow up is amazing and wonderful. They manage to conquer so much on their own and we are their biggest cheerleaders. Beautifully written. Best I’ve read all day!

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:47 pm

      Ahh thank you so much, that’s so lovely of you to say. I am such a proud Mummy, she has done amazingly well! xx

  40. July 15, 2017 / 5:18 am

    Oh wow, that’s quite a tough start. Glad ot hear the tail end of the year was better. Her’s hoping for a good time in Year !. Waving my youngest of to school in September so we’ll see how that goes. #thatfridaylinky

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:46 pm

      Ahh I’m sure they will be fine, most children settled so fast. My youngest daughter starts this September so I’m hoping we don’t have a repeat! xx

  41. Thomas Sanderson
    July 15, 2017 / 7:00 am

    This post really had me tearing up. I know it can be tough to start a new chapter in a kids life, but it’s nice to see you writing with the understanding of what your daughters going through. I love that you have gone through this experience together.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      Thank you Thomas. I have been with her every step of the way and that’s the most important thing isn’t it? And she with me, we have really helped eachother through it! xx

  42. Natalie
    July 15, 2017 / 7:26 am

    Oh wow! This post! What an emotional rollercoaster you’ve both been on! I literally felt every word and really hope your Year 1 is a little easier xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      Thank you Natalie, it’s been a real rollercoaster but we made it! Three more school days and we survived! Yay! xx

  43. July 15, 2017 / 9:16 am

    So pleased everything is working out now but boy what a worrying time for you. Isn’t she just brilliant facing up to her fears and conquering them? Elinor x

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:39 pm

      Thank you Elinor, it has been a rollercoaster year that’s for sure! xx

  44. July 15, 2017 / 10:50 am

    What a journey you’ve both been through. I hope school next year is better for the both of you. There are certainly some good times to look on tho I beat the first nativity was great to watch as a parent.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:38 pm

      Thank you so much. I’m just glad that she appears to slowly be regaining her confidence. xx

  45. July 15, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    This must have been so, so difficult for you. My little girl is the same age as yours and this would have broken me. I’m so glad she’s started to love school! Hopefully year 1 will be her year! Thanks for sharing xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:35 pm

      Thank you Jess, it was SO tough, I wasn’t sure we’d survive that first year to be honest! She is definitely improving though and her confidence is coming back, I really hope she continues to thrive. xx

  46. July 15, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    Laura this got me all teary. Next year Lucas starts school and I just cant believe it. I cant believe how quickly the first 4-5 years goes. What a lovely post though.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:34 pm

      Thanks lovely. Time goes way too fast doesn’t it? Megs starts this September and Harry next year, I feel like I blinked and missed it. xx

  47. July 15, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    Reception is usually a challenge for some children as there are so many new things for them.

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      Yes, it can take some children much longer to settle, I had no idea this time last year! xx

  48. Amanda
    July 15, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    Wow what a year it’s been for you all! So glad she’s doing better in school and starting to take part in activities more. Here’s to a great start to the next year for her too!

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:20 pm

      Thank you Amanda, me too. It’s been a rough ride! xx

  49. July 15, 2017 / 9:41 pm

    Oh my gosh my heart. I’m crying. I’m so sorry if was so hard for you both, but it is a HUGE adjustment for them isn’t it. I’m glad it all worked out, and you’ve got your happy little girl back. Truthfully though, I’m dreading when my lttle ones start school. 🙁

  50. July 15, 2017 / 11:44 pm

    It is really hard for some children to accept the changes, isn’t it!? DD1 was just as your little girl for the first few days but has settled quickly! My younger one was too cool to let me go on her first day but the only thing she didn’t about school is staying there for full time! She would be a very happy child if she could just follow the Nursery timings throughout or if she could just atleast leave after lunch :). Until this last Friday she had the complaint that the school is really long for her and there are 3 more days to go for this term! I really hope the summer break helps her to change the mood a little!

    • Laura Dove
      July 16, 2017 / 9:05 pm

      Yes! That was so like Eva! She only ever did part time at nursery so it was a huge deal going to full days! I think my youngest daughter will struggle with that too, she gets so tired still! She starts in September so I’m really hoping that she settles faster than Eva did! xx

  51. July 16, 2017 / 4:09 am

    Heart melting story. I like your confidence that you have on your child. That’s most important. I am very provided you and your daughter. Look forward to reading more from you.

    • Laura Dove
      July 16, 2017 / 9:02 pm

      Thank you so much, I am very proud of how far she has come. xx

  52. July 16, 2017 / 6:12 am

    This post well and truly broke me and I’m in tears. I went through exactly the same thing with my son and it took till year two for the tears to stop on a morning. He’s just finishing year 3 now and he has come on leaps and bounds and comes out of school laughing most days, but ask him about his day and he’ll stay it was horrible. He also still struggles with sports days and school plays. We had a lot of tears this week as he had to perform his school play four times and yet at home and with his friends he is so confident and outgoing. It’s so hard watching them go through it but all we can do is be there to reassure, listen and support. So glad she got up and joined in, fingers crossed it was a turning point and year 1 will be better for her x

    • Laura Dove
      July 16, 2017 / 9:02 pm

      Ahh thank you Alana, although I am so sorry that you are going through the same. That is so like Eva, she has so much confidence with her siblings and even with her friends, but school has just really set her back somehow. I think we underestimate just how huge a milestone it is for them, I remember when I went away to University and it was massively overwhelming, I suppose it’s the same for them, it just takes adjustment….some longer than others. xx

  53. July 16, 2017 / 4:11 pm

    Sounds like it’s been a big adjustment for you guys but glad it seems to be better. We’ve got this rollercoaster of emotions and upheaval to go this year as I start BIG school in September! eeeeek

    • Laura Dove
      July 16, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      Ahh bless. Megan starts big school in September too, I hope we don’t have to go through it all again! xx

  54. Helen
    July 16, 2017 / 6:16 pm

    Oh gosh what an absolute roller coaster of a year this must have been for you both! I’m so so pleased she is finally settling in and joining in all the fun with her friends. Hopefully year one won’t take as long to settle in.

    • Laura Dove
      July 16, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      Thank you Helen, I really do hope so. xx

  55. July 16, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    What a lovely letter, and look how far your little girl has come. When my eldest started school it was a very similar story and for weeks she used to cling to me and I had to tell her for the entire year that she could look up at our house (luckily we live very near school) and I’d be there in the house waving at her, even if she couldn’t see me. Used to break my heart how hard she found it to settle in, when all her little classmates seemed to be OK. But then in year 1 everything clicked and it sounds like your little girl is getting there. Big changes for these little people #FabFridayPost

    • Laura Dove
      July 16, 2017 / 8:51 pm

      Ahh Susie thank you for this, it really does make me feel hopeful that the same will happen for Eva. Megan will join Eva in September so I think that this will really help things, fingers crossed. It’s so hard when they don’t enjoy school, even more so when everybody else seems to! xx

  56. July 16, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    Oh goodness me what a year! I’m so glad she has finally settled in. And this is so beautifully written.

    • Laura Dove
      July 16, 2017 / 8:48 pm

      Thank you Rachel. xx

  57. July 17, 2017 / 5:17 am

    It will get better! With love and support from family she will come out stronger for going through it. She is adorable, by the way.

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:49 pm

      Ahh thank you so much, she really is a beauty inside and out. xx

  58. July 17, 2017 / 6:37 am

    Oh Laura, I’m sat on the train with a huge lump in my throats after reading this 🙁 not having my own children, I can only imagine how difficult the last year has been for you. But you’ve described it so well, imagning the distress and the tears and the frustration isn’t hard. I hope when term time comes around in September that she’ll be happy to return to school. And if not, like you said, you’ll just go through it all again, together x

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:48 pm

      Ahh thank you Becca, I really hope that September sees her continue to grow in confidence, what a year we have had! Her sister starts in September too so I think that will make a huge difference, the two of them are so close and I think part of the reason she has struggled is due to missing her so much. xx

  59. July 17, 2017 / 7:44 am

    It feels like every time I read your blog I have to fight back tears Laura! I have followed Eva’s journey on your insta and know just how hard it’s been for you all. I’m so happy sports day went well and you’re starting to see your happy girl again. I hope you all have a wonderful summer, you deserve it xx #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:47 pm

      Ahh Wendy, thank you so much for following Eva’s story this last year. It has been such a rollercoaster but I am SO proud of how far she has come. Have a wonderful summer too lovely lady. xxx

  60. July 17, 2017 / 8:20 am

    Oh Gosh! a little warning next time! I am in tears! So happy your little girl has adjusted to school and she is now happy as ever! My daughter is not in school yet, but I can only imagine how hard it must have been for you guys. Your daughter is absolutely adorable, God bless you 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:46 pm

      Ahh bless you Pam, thank you so much for reading. I really hope that when the time comes for your daughter to start school she settles well. It’s a rough ride when they don’t! xx

  61. July 17, 2017 / 8:59 am

    I am so sorry to hear she has found school hard, it is so difficult to watch them struggle but I love that she found the courage to participate in sports day. It took Isaac 3 years to properly settle at school and we are having similar issues at his swimming club. Yesterday was his first gala and he just sat, frozen in fear and wouldn’t get in the pool……..I know that will some encouragement and perseverance we will get there too

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:33 pm

      Ah thank you Kara. I’m sorry Isaac struggled too, I think it just takes some children longer than others. That’s EXACTLY like Eva, she is amazing at so many things but lacks the confidence to do them in public, I was over the moon when she joined in with sports day, huge step in the right direction that’s for sure. xx

  62. July 17, 2017 / 9:50 am

    Such a surreal moment right! #globalblogging

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:31 pm

      Absolutely, but we did it! Yay! xx

  63. July 17, 2017 / 12:09 pm

    Such a beautiful post about your relationship and cheering on of your daughter. It’s so hard to see them struggle sometimes but so gratifying when they make strides.

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:30 pm

      Thanks David, it really is the best feeling in the world when they find their wings. xx

  64. July 17, 2017 / 12:20 pm

    We forget how big a change it is for them – new people, places, routine, stuff to learn – and how small they are. I’m so pleased for you all that she settled in the end and hopefully will feel better about school after the summer break. It’s so hard though, because they have make their way, go to school etc and there’s so little we can do to help. And you feel so powerless … Sending hugs to you all

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:29 pm

      Thank you, you’re right, I think we under estimate just how HUGE the transition can be and I guess it takes some children longer than others. It’s been a really tough year but we have made it to the other side, that’s the most important thing right? xx

  65. July 17, 2017 / 12:21 pm

    Yay, well done Eva you little star – what a tough year you’ve had but well done you (and mummy) Sarah #FabFridayPost

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:27 pm

      Ahh thank you Sarah, so proud of how far she has come. xx

  66. July 17, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    Well done Eva, reception year is such a huge adjustment and such a big step. What a lot of growing up in one year! Have a lovely well deserved summer with the family before year 1. #BigPinkLink

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:27 pm

      Thank you Fiona. We are going to enjoy every moment of the summer holidays together! xx

  67. July 17, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    Oh bless her, that must have been so hard for you all

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:26 pm

      Super hard but we finally got somewhere! xx

  68. July 17, 2017 / 5:12 pm

    Oh my goodness this has just had me in tears! I once had a little girl in my class who took about a year to get there, and actually it took me years to love school. I cannot imagine what you’ve had to go through but I am so glad she is getting there now xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:26 pm

      Ahh thank you Katy. I loved school from day one, and my eldest too so I really wasn’t prepared for this. Today we had no tears WHATSOEVER at line up, very proud Mummy that’s for sure. xx

  69. July 17, 2017 / 8:29 pm

    Oh no!! Your post had me in tears. It must have been so hard on her and you, what a hard year. Hope the summer will bring many great moments and the next year will be much easier.

  70. Jo - Cup of Toast
    July 17, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    This made me feel so sad. I think school is so hard for some little ones and they do take a while to fully relax into it. I hope that you have a lovely summer holiday #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      July 18, 2017 / 8:41 pm

      Ahh thank you Jo. I’m really hoping that we have turned a corner, fingers crossed! xxx

  71. July 18, 2017 / 7:23 am

    Oh my goodness I’m not emotionally stable enough to be reading this!! I’m so so so glad that she is starting to enjoy school a bit more and your seeing passed the fog. It must have been so difficult for all of you. #triumphanttales

    • Laura Dove
      July 18, 2017 / 12:56 pm

      Ahh thanks lovely, it was so hard at times but I am so proud of how far she has come. xx

  72. July 18, 2017 / 7:40 am

    Beautiful pictures!! So pleased that Eva finally found her way and settled into her new school life. It must be such a huge transition starting school. My eldest starts school nursery in September so we have another year before he starts Reception and I really hope he doesnt cry when I drop him off as I don’t think my emotions could handle it! I really hope she continues to thrive at school and enjoys it more and more xx Nicky #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      July 18, 2017 / 12:56 pm

      Thank you Nicky. It’s HEARTBREAKING when they cry each morning, I think it would break the coldest of hearts!! It did get easier, I think I realised that although it was hard to leave her, she was fine whilst she was there, and now I think we are finally out the other side. I’m sure your son will be just fine, every other child in Eva’s class was! xx

  73. July 18, 2017 / 8:09 am

    What a gorgeous reflection on the first year of school. It really is a big learning curve and a big step. She’s such a gorgeous girl like her mummy!! #triumphanttales x

    • Laura Dove
      July 18, 2017 / 12:54 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Fran. What a rollercoaster we have had, one more school morning to go!! xx

  74. July 18, 2017 / 10:54 am

    Aww, bless her. This is such an emotional post, bought tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine the joy you must have felt seeing her get up and run that race x

    • Laura Dove
      July 18, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      Thank you Ali, it was the greatest feeling ever. I cry every time I think about it! xx

  75. July 18, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    Oh gosh I have tears streaming down my face! She has come do far and done so well. You have every right to be proud of her. We had our own moment like this just last week. Well done mummy and Eva! #dreamteam

    • Laura Dove
      July 18, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      Ahh thank you Lucy, I really was so proud of her, it was a HUGE thing for her to run that race!! It’s so hard when they struggle to settle. xx

  76. July 18, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    oh wow what a year. I’m so happy you got there in the end. Big hugs x

    • Laura Dove
      July 18, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      We certainly did, thank you. xx

  77. July 18, 2017 / 2:31 pm

    WOW! Just wow! That reads like it was hard to write. That is super tough watching those first years. Somehow, school doesn’t yield well for some kids. I wish for the best for this coming year for you guys!

    • Laura Dove
      July 18, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Ah thank you, I really hope so too. I’m a very proud Mummy! xx

  78. July 18, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    Oh bless her heart, so much of your post took me back to our own Reception class experiences. Although your daughter did better than my son on the Sports Day front. We’ve certainly found school traumatic and it’s only really been this year in Year Two that the tears have gone and he’s joined in. I hope Year One is a happier experience for you both #SchoolDays

    • Laura Dove
      July 18, 2017 / 8:37 pm

      Ahh Mary I’m so sorry you’re son has had the same issues but it’s always a comfort to know that it’s not just my child. I really hope that September brings happier times for Eva and your son, school is such an amazing time for them, if only they could see that! xx

  79. July 18, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    Oh Laura this made me cry. What a tough year you’ve both had. The move to Reception can be so hard. Hopefully she will be feeling more settled moving into Year 1 x

    • Laura Dove
      July 18, 2017 / 8:37 pm

      Thanks Colette, she’s had a rough ride! I’m really hoping that with Megan joining her in September that things get easier! xx

  80. July 19, 2017 / 7:58 am

    You had me in tears reading this! What a tough year you’ve both had, but how wonderful to see that change at sports day.
    Do you read Over 40 and Mum to One’s blog? This story reminds me a lot of her journey. Her son is at the end of Year 2 now.
    Popping over from Schooldays linky.

    • Laura Dove
      July 20, 2017 / 2:19 pm

      Oh no I haven’t heard her story! I will absolutely head over there, it will be good to read it from another year on! Thank you for visiting! Xx

  81. July 19, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    Very heart touching post. You made me teared eye. You have all reason to be proud of Eva. She did really well. I hope next year is smooth for you guys

    • Laura Dove
      July 20, 2017 / 2:13 pm

      Ahh thank you. She is a very special little girl, here’s to her confidence soaring in September. Xx

  82. July 21, 2017 / 10:25 am

    Gosh, you’ve made me cry again. And it could so easily have been my eldest that you were describing. Like Eva, my daughter Alice had a terrible time settling into school. Crying, waking up in the night and generally hating it. She is an August baby so I put it down to her being too young for school. I think some of them just take longer to adapt to the routine of being away from you. I’m so happy that Eva seems much happier and more confident. You may find you’ll have a wobble to begin with, but I bet Year One will be smoother sailing for you. #KCACOLS xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 21, 2017 / 1:33 pm

      Ah thank you. I remember you saying that Alice had struggled, it’s always a comfort to hear that others haven’t taken to school as easily as others. Eva was the only one in her class who cried each morning so I felt quite isolated at times. I really hope with Megs starting in September that it makes a big difference to how she settles. Fingers crossed. Xx

  83. July 21, 2017 / 1:35 pm

    I am hoping against all hopes for a miracle come Sept. I just know the twins are gonna struggle in preschool and it’s going to destroy me. Thanks for linking up to #globalblogging.

  84. July 22, 2017 / 9:34 am

    I am so glad that Sports Day brought about a wonderful end to your year. That first year can be so challenging for children and for parents. Here is hoping that the spring continues into year one x

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 5:48 pm

      Thank you lovely. I think having Megs with her in September will make a huge difference! Fingers crossed! xx

  85. July 22, 2017 / 10:15 am

    Oh I was in tears reading this, it’s so so hard seeing them not enjoying school. I was so relieved and happy to read at the end that she did join in at sports day! Hope next year is easier on all of you. x #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 5:48 pm

      Ahh thank you Madeline, it was the proudest moment when she got up and ran. Her little face just made my heart BURST! xx

  86. July 22, 2017 / 12:44 pm

    Oh I am so pleased she has come out of herself. This is the one part of the reception year that I’m dreading. It’s such a big step for them all. Little Man can be quite shy and I do worry how he will cope. He seemed to enjoy his transition day so I’m hoping it’s not just a one off. This is a really beautiful piece – as always. Thanks so much for linking up to #TriumphantTales – hope to see you again on Tuesday!

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 5:46 pm

      Thank you Jaki. It’s been such a tough year, you just never know how they are going to cope with it do you? Megs starts in September too so I’m hoping she settles well, if the two of them cry each morning it will destroy me!! xx

  87. July 23, 2017 / 6:58 am

    This must have been SUCH a tough year! I don’t think I’d have been able to cope if this was my daughter, bless her! I’m so glad she seems to be slowly moving in the right direction. My son is super shy and he’s starting nursery in September, I’m worried he’ll take a long time to settle too!

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time!

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 5:37 pm

      Thank you Jenny, it was SO tough!! I honestly wondered if we were doing the right thing, whether we should have deferred her place for a year, whether home schooling was an option, I used to lie awake at night trying to find the answers. I think all it really took was a little time, and maybe more time still, but her sister joins her in September and I really hope that helps!! xx

      • August 2, 2017 / 11:03 pm

        I’m sure it will, I can imagine having a sibling at the same school can be a massive comfort. My daughter went to a pre-school run by her paternal grandma, then school on the same site so I think that’s why she settled so well x

        • Laura Dove
          August 3, 2017 / 8:02 pm

          Oh yes I can imagine that did help. My mum was a dinner lady at my primary school and I used to look forward to lunch time when I would see her. xx

  88. July 23, 2017 / 7:41 am

    Oh Laura, you know I’ve had a similar experience. We had some issues at the start of year one but I can honestly say that she enjoys it now and is genuinely happy and enjoys school. It’s nearly broken me on several occasions but it’s finally ok. I hope it is the same for you honey. Thanks for linking up with the #bigpinklink this week.

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 5:35 pm

      Thanks Louise, it’s so hard isn’t it? I’ve had to put it to the back of my mind over the summer and just hope that come September things will be very different with Megs being there too. God help me if she struggles, the two of them will destroy me! xx

  89. July 23, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    Oh my gosh! What a rollercoaster! Happy for you that your daughter seemed to be a bit happier at the end of term.

    I hope you have a fantastic summer break.

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 5:28 pm

      Thank you, I really hope so too! xx

  90. July 24, 2017 / 8:16 am

    So beautifully written. What a shame it took the whole year. Fingers crossed year one will be easier. My girls are only two and the thought of sending them off terrifies me. We’ll get through it one day at a time like you did. Thanks for sharing and gave a lovely summer x

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 5:25 pm

      Thank you Amanda, it’s been a long year that’s for sure! Some children adapt easier, my second daughter starts school in September so I am hoping she settles a little faster than Eva did!! xx

  91. July 24, 2017 / 8:20 am

    So glad you’ve come out the other end – what a year! #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 5:24 pm

      Thank you – me too! xx

  92. July 24, 2017 / 5:06 pm

    Oh gosh this post brought a little lump to my throat. Just goes to show that they all get there in their own time, and that really is perfect timing.

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 5:23 pm

      Thank you Vanessa, you’re so right. Some children it just takes a little longer than others. xx

  93. July 25, 2017 / 7:08 am

    Firstly, what a precious little poppet, those eyes say so much! SO pleased that it has all turned out for the best. We all know that sinking feeling all too well. Will my child walk out with a smile or will they be crying or sad? They feel so much and it’s so difficult for us to deal with it all sometimes. You must be so proud! Thanks for sharing Laura! #globalblogging

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 5:21 pm

      Thank you so much, she is such a precious little girl and it has been so hard to see her struggle. That sinking feeling each morning is the worst, it’s a huge adjustment though – for all of us! xx

  94. July 25, 2017 / 9:59 pm

    We have no idea how hard it can be sometimes. It’s a massive adjustment! But she made it and she looks so happier now! Plus as you said, it went fast. Beautiful post, you are obviously so proud of her and you have been through a lot of worries. I am not looking forward to all of that with Baba. Good luck for next year #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 5:19 pm

      Thank you, I am so proud of her, it was a tough year but it will be the making of her I’m sure! xx

  95. July 30, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    Lovely post, just lovely. Glad she was able to come out of it all in one peice. Hope she does even better next year. #kcacols

    • Laura Dove
      July 30, 2017 / 4:37 pm

      Thank you so much, I really hope so too. xx

  96. August 4, 2017 / 12:16 pm

    I feel your emotion, I had a similar start to reception last September wit my daughter, and she has come on leaps and bounds. Now I just have to go through it with my youngest this September. An emotional roller coaster it really is! ##KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      August 4, 2017 / 1:13 pm

      Ahh my youngest daughter starts in September too, so we are back to square one! And my son the year after! Ha! Being a parent is hard work – good luck! xx

  97. August 5, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    Aw man sounds like it has been a tough year for her (and you). I hope Year One is much easier for her xx #KCACOLS

    • Laura Dove
      August 6, 2017 / 5:56 pm

      Thank you Kate, I really do hope so! xx

  98. August 6, 2017 / 7:49 am

    This must have been so hard to watch. It’s probably something that we all fear as parents. Hopefully she’ll keep the confidence come September and wear that beautiful smile everyday!

    • Laura Dove
      August 6, 2017 / 5:52 pm

      I really do hope so Jo, she is such a lovely little girl and I really want her to enjoy her time in school. xx

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